Reviews Various Artists Circle & Mamiffer - Enharmonic Intervals (for Paschen Organ)

Various Artists

Circle & Mamiffer - Enharmonic Intervals (for Paschen Organ)

Try to imagine that two of the most interesting experimental acts out there not only decided to collaborate for a full album, they also wanted to do that in a 19th century stone church. That is right! Mamiffer, featuring Aaron Turner (of ISIS, Old Man GloomHouse of Low Culture and millions other projects) and Faith Coloccia (of House of Low Culture,Everlovely Lightningheart and Pyramids,) packed their bags and went to visit fellow sonic alchemists, Circle, in their hometown, where Enharmonic Intervals (for Paschen Organ) was to be recorded. 

The main reason for making this trip was for Mamiffer and Circle to build an entire album around the massive organ found in the stone church. And the end result proves that it was a task worth undertaking. The album is the result of one day of improvisations and short compositions, with a lot of room for sonic manipulation and sound experimentation, managing to incorporate the ethos of both bands. The noise passages, the droning melodies and the soundtrack-like ambiance are all present, adjusting through the different phases that the two bands are passing through.

Kicking off with the intro to the album, “Kaksonen 1,” you are bombarded by the two bands insane concepts. The constant evolution of the track and the build up of tension make the sound seem in constant motion while the minimalistic nature retains its strong presence. The intro and the outro tracks, “Kaksonen 2 (Artemisia),” are the two most ambient moments of the album, transmitting claustrophobic emotions to the listener with their abstract themes. Especially the wailing sounds in “Kaksonen 2 (Artemisia)” are haunting as they come into existence out of the dark. The overwhelming use of effects along aid the awe-inspiring ambiance to reach a whole different level of fear and despair. 

“Vessel Full of Worms” still retains a buried downhearted emotion beneath the surface as the bands go along with their peaceful progression… Of course that is before you are suddenly hit out of nowhere with the heavy drones. The process is repeated again and again, until the track transforms into a manic percussion (?) part, raising your anxiety. On the other hand, there is something almost epic about “Parting of Bodies,” with its spacey effects trying to disorient you, forcing you to shift your focus from reality and into the endless passages and doorways that Mamiffer and Circle have opened up for you. The sudden shift from majestic to terrifying works perfectly and the sudden appearance of vocals is catching you completely unaware. The many faces of Mamiffer and Circle do not cease to surprise you and in “Mataneminem” you are suddenly facing the soundtrack for a twisted beyond belief film (no idea what genre of film, just know it has to be twisted beyond belief.) As the seconds go by the track is going further into the paranoia of the performing musicians, with the percussion and the organ going practically insane. 

Still the two truly remarkable moments of the album are “Vaso Luna” and “Tumulus,” which are surprisingly enough also the shortest tracks of the album. In “Vaso Luna” the bands are raising a mystical vale, which encircles the core of the track. The whispering vocals and the cold melodies are aiding greatly in giving a more emotive aura to the track. “Tumulus” on the other hand starts off with a nice contrast between the mellow guitar melodies and the more grandiose sound of the organ. The female vocals come in to transport to altered planes of existence while the repetitive structure of the track is mesmerizing you and when the main vocals come in the setting is complete and it becomes obvious that this is the absolute highlight of this release. The whole aura of the song and its delicate melodies are tie in perfectly to the more menacing and claustrophobic nature of the two bands. 

The collaboration between Mamiffer and Circe is absolutely stunning, managing to bring forth an album full of atmosphere, emotion and experimentation. The fact that most of the ideas were improvised seems to be working quite nicely for the two bands, giving an element of variation and anticipation. If you are into experimental music you should definitely have a listen to Enharmonic Intervals (for Paschen Organ). Although saying that, if you are into experimental music… you probably already have listened to it.

8.0 / 10Spyros Stasis
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